Lizards, transgenesis and magic

As you know, I’m participating in April Camp Nanowrimo 2019 and I’m working on a story that I’ve already written. But don’t get yourselves in a twist or outrage. It’s not a long story and as much as I do like it, it has plenty of problems.

A lot of problems. You know how I wrote a checklist of things to do before you write? I didn’t do any of that the first time I wrote the story (let’s call it, “first draft”). As a result, I have a huge problem on genre.

My story follows a character named Dustin, who lives in a world different from us human beings. There’s a light side governed by the sun and the dark side, governed by the moon. This is 24/7, meaning that one part of the world never gets evenings or nights and the other part of the world never gets mornings or days. You can see, there’s a bit of fantasy element to the story. But unfortunately, there’s also sci-fi as well.

I mean, of all the two genres to accidentally mix, why did I choose sci fi and fantasy?

Gaaaaargh!

Do you know what Transgenesis means? This is a type of bio-science that does exist on Earth, but in this other world, the science is a lot more advanced. Transgenesis can happen on a whole new level-the “humans” can mix with “animals” creating hybrids. We can also clone “humans” too.

I’m writing like “this” because since this is on another planet, they’re not exactly humans.  Well, except they ARE human-like except for the mutations.

So, not only do I have aliens on another planet who are humans, but I’ve got science that I don’t understand and an under developed world as well. But, these are early days and one point of Nanowrimo is to write as much as possible. It’s about getting it written, not right. My dilemma is then really, that I want to have by the end of this month, a story with lots of wild imagination and crazy ideas, but also a story that I can READ and work with.

The first draft (current story), is small. I can read it quickly, but I can edit as yet because I haven’t finished creating. Anyway, that’s my writing woes at the moment.

Any thought for advice for me?

Maybe if I pushed through, it would be okay to have a fantasy novel with sci fi elements to it. But…magic. Ugh. Should there be magic in there too? I suppose, as long as I would read this story, it’s okay if not one else does. Haha. If it fails, I’ll post the story here, for a good laugh and to let you all in on what NOT to do when writing a story.

 

 

 

 

 

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ten days into Camp Nanowrimo, here we go!

Hi all! I’m sorry for the late post-Camp started over a week ago. But I thought to dedicate the rest of April to camp. -tips, hints and advice on surviving camp whether you win or lose, and also my mediocre advice on writing.

Seriously folks, you should not be coming to me as first choice for advice on writing. But I’m glad you’re here anyway and I’ll try my best to impart my knowledge and wisdom, without sounding like I’m just saying good common sense that any writer would know anyway. Here we go!

Before you even start to write, you need to tick off everything from the checklist below. It’s best to do these things the week before camp starts but if not, that’s okay. Just do it as soon as possible.

Checklist before you write:

  • set up a profile on Camp Nanowrimo
  • Do you want “cabin mates” or do you like to bunk it alone? -Note on cabins: It’s not really that fun in my experience because everyone’s so busy writing their story that they might not reply to you or give you advice. It’s just generally not really a good time. It’s best if you have friends whom you know and arrange a cabin with them.
  • Set up the story on Camp Nanowrimo-eg. Do you have a title, a little synopsis (optional but interesting), a word count goal. I suggest a range between 20 and 100 K words. I’m attempting for the first time, 100k word count goal because I want my novel to be a fully fledged novel, and because I’m cheating a little bit in that I’m writing on top of a story that I’d already written. (more on this later).
  • What’s your genre? Use this time to research both for the content and plot of your story, but also your genre. If you write in a specific genre, then you have rules to follow. These rules can limit and squash you, but they can also be used as restriction to play around and work with. It depends on your outlook. In my experience, a little direction goes a long way in creativity.
  • Who are your characters? -normally for any kind of nanowrimo, you don’t need to plan a lot, if at all. But it does help in the long run (because it can be a very long and gruelling month), if you have an idea of who you are writing about, why and for what kind of audience. Just saying, it helps in the long run in terms of, getting back on track, concentration and motivation. You will probably trip over yourself at some point this month but with a bit of planning written down, you will have more chance to trip over yourself less.

So there you have it! My quick checklist of things to do before you write. And really, no matter when we write, whether it’s during Camp Nanowrimo or a normal month, we should plan ahead, at least a little bit. We need to have knowledge before we write, otherwise, we’d be using things we’ve seen in the movies. Those movie plots don’t make the best books.

What’s your checklist? Is there anything you would add or take away from the list? What’s your checklist of things to do before you write a blog post?

 

 

3 steps for better memory Pt 1

Ever had a word or name that was on the tip of your tongue, but you couldn’t recall what it was? Ever walked into a room and then wondered why you came here?

Chances are, everybody reading this post has ever had their memory fail them or not working so well. There are seven steps that, when taken, can help us to remember anything better.

1. Reach and teach

Be in the present. IF you are learning something that does not mean anything to you, chances are, you will not only forget, but you will zone out in class as well. If you want to remember a name, find out more about that person and associate this person with their interests, hobbies, work and other interesting bits of information. Try to find something in common because if you are interested int he same subject or hobby, then chances are more likely that you will remember this common interest with this person. This is also important when you are studying, self learning or teaching yourself.

Even if you are your own student, don’t assume that you’ll be a good student who always listens and can take in all the information. You need to teach yourself in a way that allows you freedom to enjoy what you’re learning and relate to the material as well.

2. Reflect

This is not only step 2, but reflection is within every step of memory. Reflection is an important step towards memory because you are doing several of the memory steps at once. First, you are reflecting. Then, you are recoding-writing about what you have learned in your own words, and rehearsing. Rehearsal is a much later step but certainly does happen when reflecting. You are practicing what you’ve learned.

Reflection is a chance to digest the information, all that you’ve learned and everything you have done. It is a way o find out what you have learned, any questions and any concepts or information that you are unsure of.

It is crucial to a good memory, that you are able to recognise and then iron out any confusions that you have with what you are learning. Whether that is remembering that the person’s name is Jill, not Jane, or Sally and not Sammy. With names, it might be helpful to write acrostic poems or Mnemonics. Of course, we would only really make this kind of effort if we had to study people who we cannot meet. But it might be fun to try this out with your colleagues, friends, family members and generally, people whose name you easily forget.

As a writer, I love the idea to write a silly flash fiction of a random character but using that person’s name.

Einstein was a poor boy who lived in New York. When he was walking out in the streets on the way to school, and an adult pushed him aside and said, “Get out of the way”, he thought to himself, “Right! I’m getting out of here as soon as possible!” 

Of course, if you are learning about Einstein, it’s probably best to connect the silly story to something real about him. Like his hair.

I think of my blog posts that I write about what I’m learning in school, as both a rehearsal but also reflection as well. Sometimes it would be more obvious which one I am emphasising on. If I’m still in the process of learning or digesting, then that would be a reflection, which would come through quite clearly.

On the other hand, if this is a rehearsal, then probably it would feel a bit more structured, informative, and “I understand what I’m talking about, instead of spitting out words.” I hope this post conveys the latter.

3. Recoding

Just like Rehearsal, recoding interconnects with reflection as well. Recoding is about taking the material, concept or information, and turning organising the information into a visual organiser.

A visual or graphic organiser can be:

  • mindmap
  • brainstorm
  • PMI charts (Positive, minus, interesting/implications)
  • Venn diagrams

I confess that I stick with what I am familiar with and I don’t tend to try other forms of graphic organisers. However, I am slowly beginning to do this and one particular new chart that I like, has:

  • Simple examples
  • Examples
  • Interesting examples
  • Non examples

In there middle is the title or topic, much like a brainstorm or mind map. The other four categories are in boxes around the main topic. Another interesting note is “non examples”. I particularly like this because it allows room to make mistakes and not feel like a failure. Because giving a wrong example or answer, is countered as a “right example” of a non-example.

I can see the implications of using this table in schools. It would allow students to gain confidence and to have a go and guessing. After all, it is pretty easy to guess the wrong thing rather than be lucky to just know the right answer.

Teacher: What is 5 plus 4?

Student: 10?

Teacher: Thank you. You have given a good example of a non example. 

*writes answer on the board in correct box*

Teacher: Does anyone else have a non example to share? 

I think this also helps adults and anyone self teaching as well, but in general, humans are afraid to make mistakes. Even when we are alone making a mistake, we feel the fool. But having a “non example” category encourages us to make a mistake and be imperfect, and also helps us to see what we are learning, and what we are not. It can be good to see the opposite of what we are focused on.

This is the first part of this series, “7 steps for better memory”. I will either have one or two more posts to list the rest of the steps. Then, I will write more posts to expand on each of the steps. There is a ton of information I have not yet shared. I guess you could say I’m learning a lot. Next post will also have the reference to the book that I take all of this information from.

I will also have better examples-photos!

See you then.

 

Why did God make women? Ep4

Hi everyone. Welcome back to my blog. I can’t believe it’s already been a week since I started blogging in 2019. As you might know, I recently finished writing a series on “Why did God make women?” as a response and to clarify a blog post of the same title and from a blog called, “Biblical Gender Roles”. Yup, so…it’s not biased or old fashioned or deluded.

As mentioned in the last episode of this series, I was done with all of this. I thought I was but last night, as I laid in bed, I realized that I wasn’t done. I wasn’t done because I am aware that I’m indoctrinated and probably believe in some lies. So I wanted to clarify a few things that I had written in my last post, to give you my take on the verses that the blog had used to support their argument, and to make clear that I’m not siding completely with Mr Atheist or with the blog. I am on my own side.

Marriage must be built on trust, communication, consent, and respect. We need to humble ourselves and work on our pride problem. Wives must willingly submit to the authority of her husband in the same way that husbands must willingly submit to the authority of Jesus. Another way to put this is everyone must submit under the authority of Jesus as we are part of the bride of Christ and he is our bridegroom.

I agree 100 percent with the first line. I think with any couple, secular, religious or poly, that there must absolutely be trust, communication, consent, respect, and probably other values as well that both partners can agree to be significant in making the relationship work. The problem with Christian relationships is that they tend to take the specific stuff from the bible. They will trust and communicate with each other but specifically, “Wives, submit to my authority!”. They will give consensual sex and have respect for one another but specifically, “Wives, I own you. You are my property and so you must have sex with me whenever I want.”

Wrong. Very and so obviously wrong. No, sorry. I shouldn’t say that it’s obvious because it’s not for some people and not all of those people are stupid.

So I have a problem with my own thinking, from the second sentence onwards. I don’t think I really understand what these biblical phrases mean such as “willingly submit”, “authority”, “in the same way that husbands (that whole sentence), “we are part of the bride of Christ and he is our bridegroom”.

I don’t understand these things even I wrote and believe in them. I don’t understand it well enough to explain it to an atheist or even just to a secular human being.

When I re-read this and I see words like “submit” and “authority”, my feminist self becomes angry like crazy, like menopause crazy.

So, what do I say now? I love how in my AMP footnotes, it says that Paul doesn’t empathize on the husband’s authority. In the same way, we shouldn’t get so hung up over that and actually read the whole chapter. Because further on, Paul writes that one’s husband must love his wife as he does himself. I think it’s interesting to note as well that the footnote (Eph 6:1), mentions how parents must treat their children in such a way that the children will want to obey. This is clearly talking about respect. This is in another chapter but I just liked this advice.

I don’t understand Eph 5, “Marriage like Christ and the Church”. I am still angry and offended even while I’m sure there’s some sort of big picture that anyone can be joyful about. But since I don’t understand right now, I can’t say much on it.

However, if we were to just step outside bible verses and scriptures and what God supposedly say, my advice on marriage is:

  • Don’t get married to have sex (or to hug)
  • You’re worthy as and equal to each other
  • Outside of marriage, you are each your own person
  • Have an open communication before getting married about important topics like taking care of children, household chores, and generally, what a good and successful marriage actually looks like to you.

It is significant or is supposed to be significant to get married and to make this decision. It takes a special kind of guy to, first of all, have a woman to willingly “submit”/”tasso” and to also be the leader of his family. This is why I’m not going to get married to anyone but Jesus. And no, I’m not at all thinking of how big his…

Another point I’d like to make (I could point to a few bible verses but I can also say this from common sense), is that wives need to listen to her husband and husbands need to love his wife. If wives tend to want control, then they must fight against that and “let it go”. If husbands tend to act as a tyrant, then they must fight against that and love their wife. But y’all need to stop focussing on women who like control, and start focussing on the responsibilities and expectations of both wives and husbands, females and males.

What I was trying to say in these paragraphs is that, when you’re married or you’ve chosen to be someone for the rest of their life, you’ve got to make sacrifices and compromises. If you’re both strong headed, and you both want to do your own thing, then maybe, be friends with benefits instead of lifelong partners?

So there has to be a sacrifice without sacrificing you or who you are. A lot of this falls on wives. They, without really talking with each other, have or feel like they have the responsibility to clean the house, cook, take care of the husband and children as if they’re both dependent on her, despite one being an adult.

The second paragraph was written after the very smart epiphany that marriage is a pretty serious decision. You don’t get married to someone after being with them for 4 years because 4 years is “long enough to wait”. It’s so much more complicated than the decision to start dating.

If you want to know what your faults are and quick, then get married because your significant other, who you have to share everything with, will not only show you, but point it out. Love one another which means, let go of the idea that you’re always right. I know my brother had to certainly learn this lesson (in order to not be the exact replica of my dad).

The bottom line is, someone who’s controlling and someone who’s a tyrant, will clash and butt heads and even up in divorce. Put love first above your differences and learn to share.

I think my anger when using the words “submit” and “authority” comes from my pride. I need to be humble in order to really see what the bible actually says and how the bible uses these two words. At the same time, these two words disgust me because of how overused and misused they are. I would love to know the original Greek words that the English language have butchered.

To be honest, and in this day and age, if you want a good and healthy marriage, don’t EVER use words like “submit” and “authority”. EVER. (Unless you’re only married to Jesus or you’re in a “sub/dom” situation).

I don’t agree with everything Jimmy says in the video but for what it’s worth…

I think Christians should stop doing or saying stuff “because the bible told them to”, and actually start using their heads to make decisions. Don’t only do stuff because the bible says, but do it ALSO, because you actually agree as a sane, rational and logical person. Jimmy says it better but there you go.

There’s so much more to cover on this and I’ve only scratched the surface. But as I’ve mentioned in my previous post and even in a prayer, I’m sick of this sh**. So I’ll leave it there. Hopefully, one day, I will be able to better understand Ephesians and will, therefore, have a much more compelling and detailed argument against that blog post.

Thanks so much so sticking around. Do you have any thoughts, questions or critiques? Leave all of these things in the comments section below. Did you enjoy this blog post? Hit the like and follow button. Gosh, I wish I could say the word, “button” as cute as Jimmy.

Button. Butt-on. Nope, that’s not it… Button. Got it.

 

 

Why did God make woman? Ep. 1

Welcome to my blog, “No excuses”! This used to be a blog on writing but is now on spirituality and other important topics. Today’s post is a response to a blog post called “Why did God make woman?” by Biblical Gender Roles and a response to a video by Mr Atheist, that responds to this blog post. You don’t need to click the link because the youtube video can be found in this post.

But first, please remember to like, follow and comment. Yeah, I’m that kinda person now. SO ANNOYING.

Why did God make woman?

This is such a good and profound question. Let’s see if I can answer before I get into the video and blog post. God made women, for example, me, so that I can do good works on earth, to take care of his creation including the land, people and animals, and to overall, enjoy the life that he has given me. Yeah, that sounds about right. Yes? No? Wait, what? You’re saying no?

No, you’re not right Ching Ern. But first, here’s a definition of progressive revelation.

Progressive revelation is like being given a story or an account of something and then later getting a flashback or a different viewpoint which gives you a different angle or revelation on the story. If this doesn’t make sense, then watch the video and Jimmy will read the blog post to you.

The first account of creation can be found in Genesis 1. The second account that gives us a progressive revelation, can be found in Genesis 2.

What revelations do we find?

We find that:

  1. It is not good for man to be alone
  2. Man was created first before woman
  3. Adam looked at all the animals and didn’t find a suitable helper
  4. Eve and therefore women were created for men.
  5. Women were created to be helpers and for companionship

This blog-writer got these points from the KJV bible. My AMP (amplified) version of the bible of the same verses says that:

(Gen 2:18-23 AMP)

  1. Adam needed a helper, someone who balanced him, or a counterpart
  2. none of the animals were a suitable companion (note, how it says companion but NOT sexual partner).
  3. The word “helper” indicates a role, not a woman’s value. Adam needed someone who was like himself, who was intelligent and equal in value but with different qualities, who could subdue the earth together with him. This was taken from a footnote of the AMP bible.
  4. God causes Adam to fall into a deep sleep and He took one of Adam’s ribs to create Eve. Another footnote says that if God had taken a piece of Adam’s head, then this implied women were superior, if God had taken a piece of Adam’s toe, then this implied woman were inferior. But to take the rib, a piece from Adam’s side, implied equality and mutual respect. It doesn’t imply being a side piece, hahaha.  (According to my footnote, Martin Luther King had observed this but I’m not sure if he actually did since I can’t at the moment, find evidence of him saying this).

So, I’d like to first apologise. Here goes:

  1. There are a lot of stupid christians in the world
  2. I can’t say that I’m any smarter but
  3. At least I hope that my content here is smart and agreeable, instead of just sounding like sound advice or facts…or complete trash.
  4. I’m sorry for this blog, that confirms literally every atheist who says that the bible is very misogynistic. 
  5. and I’m sorry that I’m now going to be a hypocrite by saying my thoughts on this

This is what I believe:

There are many versions of the bible which leaves the bible open for interpretation. I trust the AMP because it tries its best to demonstrate how people understood the bible in its original language. Now, English isn’t a very good language to translate to because English doesn’t have enough words to convey the same meaning as the original language.

I trust the AMP when it explains that men and women were created equal and with mutual respect, to both subjugate and take dominion over the earth. It doesn’t mean that the KJV is not an accurate Bible translation or version. But, it does mean that people can get different interpretations of the bible depending on which Bible version they use, how deeply they study the actual meaning of words, and whether or not they are actually qualified to give an accurate not-man-made interpretation of the bible.

And that’s why this blog that I’m responding to, and other things like this, are so dangerous to both themselves and society-they take a few verses from the bible and utterly twist the verses to conform to their way of thinking and indoctrination. I hope that as I do more of these blog posts, that you’ll find I don’t do that, but I try my best to actually see the whole picture instead of focussing on a few verses.

By golly, it seems like I’m going to need to do a series on this instead of just one blog post. 🙂 That’s fine because- more content. So this is the end of my blog post, episode one of “Why did God create woman?”

And by the way, it’s “women”, plural, not just Eve. WOMEN.

Let’s shake off the intensity-ness that comes from feminism and the fight for equality and watch a cat on top of a roomba, in a shark costume, chasing a duck.

Interns, internships and life lessons

Hi everyone,

This is a boring update on my life. Haha. I’ll try and add something deep and meaningful at the end.

So, a few weeks ago, I applied for an internship and a few days later, I got an interview. Now, I’m not the greatest at interviews. I kind of have that “cool” attitude about me that leads me to reveal way too much, talk way too much and go down all these rabbit holes. When I’m in an interview, I become a different person. It’s almost as if I enjoy talking about myself.

I don’t like talking in general so this was a real surprise that I discovered.

A week or so later, I got a call saying that I’d been accepted to be an intern. I was so happy. Well, okay, I had a lot of emotions going through me. The main one was happiness. After the call ended, this quickly turned into doubt and surprise. I’m shocked they picked me out of the many people who applied. I’m surprised they picked me after everyone I revealed during the interview. I’m pretty sure I implied-and at some point I explicitly said-that I’m not going to be the best intern out of all the interns. And yet, I got the internship.

I’m grateful for this amazing opportunity to learn, grow and also work alongside likeminded people with a common goal and similar interests. I’m not great at team work (which is probably for another day), but I love being a part of the RICE family.

I’m going to be writing a lot more posts on RICE and my internship.

I believe that the reason why I’m an intern is because I am a deep desire to serve God, a desire that was always with me but has only been truly awakened in recent times. This internship is a catalyst that will help me to grow in my faith as well as learn more about the amazing creator of the universe.

One thing that have definitely changed in my life is that I feel the need to read my bible. LOL. I don’t pick up my bible when I’m in church, let alone on a Saturday. But I’m itching to read it and for God to reveal is amazingness and love in the scriptures. That’s really the best way to listen to Him.

The internship, to be honest, is a bit slower than I thought it’d be. It definitely wasn’t what I thought it’d be like- God’s growing me in areas I didn’t even think of.

But it taught me that I need to take initiative. If it’s not teaching me what I expected it would, then take the initiative to take the learning in my own hands instead of relying on RICE. They say the things you teach yourself are the things you  learn the most efficiently because of the level of intrinsic motivation involved.

That’s something that I’m going to keep in mind as I keep on during my internship and explore this amazing time of my life.

See you in the next post.

Thanks for stopping by.

If anyone’s had experience being an intern or a newbie, please give me your advice in the comments section below. Thanks and have a great weekend.

 

 

 

Keep at it

Something that I’ve learned from writing is to keep at it even if you think you suck.

Here on Wattpad, we don’t just battle with suckability, but with readers. Because this is a social community, like Facebook for writers, having no readers or coments can suck. It can feel lonely. We depend on comments to see whether or not we should continue with a story instead of asking ourselves what we want to do.

Here’s something: write for yourself not for other people.
That way, even if no one reads your stuff, you have one very important reader who loves what you dish out and that’s you.

If you love what you do, if you do it even when you’re sick of it, then don’t stop and don’t give up no matter what.

It’s harder than it sounds.

How can you write if you’re stuck on the story and you don’t know where to go from here?

When I say “don’t stop writing” it doesn’t mean to keep writing the story because that might not be possible right now.

But it does mean to write something down as long you don’t stop practising the craft completely.

Whatever it means to you, don’t stop writing.
This could mean writing the shopping list, in your diary, comments etc.  Could mean poems even if you usually
write novels. I used to write novels but now I write at the most ten story chapters. That’s not even a novella. (A novella is 20k to 50k and a short story is under 20k. My stories are ten k or less).

And one day, some say, you’ll get there because dreams come true.

But you’ve got to be kind to yourself, have courage and “never let the fear of as striking out keep you from playing the game.”

The sentence in quote marks, is from the film, “a Cinderella story” and the girl played by Hillary duff, remembers playing baseball with her dad. The sign (the quote on the wallpaper underneath the new ripped wallpaper), gives her the courage to finally stand up for herself against her step mum and say “no” to her demands. She does something for herself because in that moment, she knew she had to live her life, and not let being scared of failure, stop her.

This quote is by Babe Ruth. He was a baseball player. He didn’t give up. He kept at it.

Keep at it.